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An unusual blue mesogleal protein from the mangrove jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana


The jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana often contains a blue pigment diffused within the acellular portion of its masoglea. In the bell, both the pigment and endosymbiotic zooxanthellae are concentrated immediately beneath the ex-and subumbrellar epithelia. Chromatographic and polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic techniques demonstrate that the pigment is a highly polymeric glycoprotein (mol. wt>106 daltons) comprised of two subunits with molecular weights of 34 500 and 30 300 daltons and characterized by multiple charged species. The blue native protein exhibits light absorption maxima at 620, 587, 555 and 415 nm, while SDS denatured protein is pink with a single absorption maximum at 507 nm. No prosthetic chromophore or heavy metal component was detected. The pigment is proposed to act as a light attenuator protecting the jellyfish from injurious solar irradiation while allowing photosynthetically active wavelengths to reach the zooxanthellae.

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Communicated by J. P. Grassle, Woods Hole

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Blanquet, R.S., Phelan, M.A. An unusual blue mesogleal protein from the mangrove jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana . Mar. Biol. 94, 423–430 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00428249

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  • Heavy Metal
  • Polyacrylamide
  • Solar Irradiation
  • Absorption Maximum
  • Light Absorption